Strengthening Capacity for Neuropsychological Assessment in the Carribbean (WINDREF) — March 3rd-4th, 2022
In March of 2022, the Matthews Fund supported a 2-day virtual/in-person hybrid workshop in Grenada, West Indies. The aim of the workshop was to bring together stakeholders in the English-speaking Caribbean who share an interest in strengthening regional capacity for neuropsychological assessment. Attendees spanned the Caribbean from Trinidad to St. Vincent and Jamaica, as well as Europe, Canada, and North America. There were psychologists, social workers, physicians, educators, and non-profit field experts in attendance. The workshop was organized by Roberta Evans, MS, with assistance from Kemi Burgen, MA, both of whom are early career psychologists in the region. It was co-sponsored by the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) and St George’s University.
The event opened with a welcome message and acknowledgement of the unique history and ancestries of the region. Day 1 focused on the development of culturally appropriate assessments and interventions, as well as the appreciation of locally relevant risk factors for adverse neuropsychological outcomes. We compared different methodologies for the development of local reference groups and international normative standards. We learned about pertinent local exposures, such as arboviruses and corporal punishment practices, that need to be considered during assessments. We heard from a UNICEF early childhood development specialist about the importance of advancing equity for Caribbean children through quality assessments. We were introduced to efforts that are underway to develop and validate a Caribbean learning and memory scale. Day 1 included helpful step-by-step tutorials on how to measure early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), as well as how to apply a regression-based approach to normative sample development.
Day 2 focused on community-based training models and how to grow regional capacity without compromising local culture and values. We learned about the challenges and perils of translating values implicit to Western, Education, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) cultures to local training and practice models. We learned about the importance of establishing and communicating the purpose and results of assessment in collaboration with community stakeholders, with room for transformation, so that neuropsychology can grow indigenously within the region.
Overall, this workshop brought together a unique combination of experts from various backgrounds, disciplines, and regions to make for a lively and engaging exchange. Attendees provided feedback that it was a “seminal” experience for their work in the region. All workshop events, panels, and lectures were recorded and are now available for INS membership so that others who were not able to attend can still benefit from the unique and valuable discussions that occurred.
Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) 10th-11th — November 2021
The Charles Matthews Fund call funded in 2021 two international educational actions, one to take place in the Philippines and one in the Caribbean region. The first of this actions, took place in November 10-11, 2021 as a two-day historical webinar called “Basics of Neuropsychology: A Scientist-Practitioner Model Approach”. The webinar was made possible by a partnership with the International Neuropsychological Society and planned by Dr Rhalf Jayson F. Guanco, assistant professor at Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) and recipient of the Charles G. Matthews International Neuropsychological Development Fund. The fund’s mission is to assist educational and training initiatives such as workshops, symposia, and webinars in countries with less developed/resourced neuropsychology, such as the Philippines. In this occasion, the fund was established to assist the Adventist University of the Philippines in reaching a broader audience in the Philippines and internationally. It has enabled Dr Rhalf Jayson Guanco and his colleagues, Dr Mylene Gumarao (Chairperson of the AUP Graduate Psychology), Dr Myrtle Orbon (Chairperson of the AUP Undergraduate Psychology), and a competent pool of faculty, Dr Sheryll Ann Castillo, Ms. Cutie Canesares, and Ms. Buensafe Sadicon, under the leadership of the dean of the AUP College of Arts and Humanities Dr Eunice Aclan, to envision a more hopeful future for neuropsychology in the Philippines.
Dr Natalia Ojeda del Pozo, chair of the INS Global Engagement Committee, opened the program with a welcome message, as did Dr Miriam Narbarte, Vice President for Academics at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP), on Day 1, and Dr Eunice Aclan, college dean at the AUP College of Arts and Humanities on Day 2. This two-day webinar featured sessions led by two national experts: Dr Rhalf Jayson Guanco, a licensed psychologist and psychometrician who serves as the INS Global Engagement Representative for the Philippines, who discussed “Current Challenges in Neuropsychology Practice,” and Ms. Maria Corazon Fernandez, a clinical psychologist at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, who discussed “Neuropsychological Assessment: Clinical and Theoretical Foundations.” Additionally, two international experts participated: Dr Tracy Vannorsdal, a clinical neuropsychologist and associate professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology, presented on the topic “Basics of Neuropsychology: Implications for Clinical Practice and Research,” and Dr Rowena Ng, a pediatric neuropsychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, presented on the topic “Principles of Neuropsychological Assessment in Children and Adolescents”.
A total of 638 attendees (psychologists, psychometricians, graduate psychology students, college students, teachers, and post-doctoral trainees in neuropsychology) attended the event. Additionally, participants represent 263 institutions and organizations throughout the Philippines and 10 overseas. The evaluation of the program revealed an overall mean rating of 4.9 out of 5, interpreted as extremely satisfied with the event’s overall impact. A notable outcome of the two-day webinar was the agreement of a number of psychologists and psychometricians in the Philippines to immediately establish a neuropsychology special interest group within the Philippine Psychological Association following the conclusion of the program.
University of Botswana, 14th-15th — April 2021
The workshop on the development of neuropsychology in Botswana was organised by Dr Lingani Mbakile-Mahlanza and it was held on 14th-15th April, 2021. It was attended by 50 people and participants included students and professionals from different backgrounds (teachers, nurses, medical students, psychology students, medical doctors). The workshop was officially opened by Prof. David Sebudubudu, Dean of the Faculty of Social sciences at the University of Botswana. The international speaker was Dr. Gianina Toller from St. Gallen, Switzerland. Among the speakers we also had Dr. Ocampo (Neurologist – Botswana), Dr Gasemotse (Psychiatrist – Australia/Botswana), Ms. Rampa (Psychologist – Botswana) and Dr. Tsima (Family Physician- Botswana).
Our Regional representative, Dr Lingani Mbakile-Mahlanza was essential for the workshop to be a sucess, and was a proud witness of the development of the event.
International Workshop in Neuropsychological Assessment and Rehabilitation
Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, 7th-11th — December 2020
This five-day Matthews Fund Workshop organised by Dr Parisuth Sumransub, in conjunction with the Thai Clinical Psychology Society, was initially planned for April 2020 but as a result of the Covid -19 pandemic was postponed to December 2020. The format changed from a fully in-person event to a hybrid with local delegates attending in person, but the international faculty recorded lectures and attended remotely each day for an hour of discussion after delegates had viewed the recorded lectures. 75 people attended the workshop, including clinical psychologists, general psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, lecturers, physiologists, university students and traditional Chinese physicians. The international faculty were Professor Barbara Wilson and Professor Jonathan Evans. The local faculty were Dr Sekh Thanprasertsuk, Dr Chaipat Chunharas, and Dr Parisuth Sumransub.
Mar del Plata, Argentina, 7th-11th — March 2019
This workshop on Neuropsychological Assessment was organised by Dr Leticia Vivas (National University of Mar del Plata). The international speaker was Dr Bernice A. Marcopulos (USA). Other speakers from Argentina included Dr Leticia Vivas, Dr Macarena MartC-nez CuitiC1o,Laura Manoiloff, and Dr Ana ComesaC1a. Activities included a workshop for 50 participants and a lecture on forensic neuropsychology attended by 130 participants. These took place at the National University of Mar del Plata. There was also a lecture on the Neuropsychology of neuropsychiatric disorders attended by 196 participants at the auditorium of the Catholic University of CC3rdoba (UCC).
Institute of Psychology, Vilnius University, 11th-12th — October 2019
A workshop entitled, Implementation of Studies in (Clinical) Neuropsychology in Lithuania, organised by Prof Albinas Bogdanas from the Laboratory of Applied Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Vilnius University took place on October 11-12, 2019. Around 50 people attended, including university teachers, students, psychologists working in different health institutions, neurologists and neurobiologists. Four international speakers (Erik Hessen, Katherine Carpenter, Linas Bieliauskas and Emilia Lojek) gave presentations on the structure of clinical neuropsychology training in Nordic countries, the UK, the USA and Poland. Nine Lithuanian speakers (Albinas Bogdanis; Ramune Dirvanskiene; Ausra Daugirdien?; Aiste Pranckeviciene; Osvaldas Ruksenas; AuE!ra Saudargiene; Rytis Stanik?nas; Vaiva Sutnikiene and Liuda Sinkariova) described the current situation on the development of neurosciences in Lithuania. Current challenges in relation to clinical work, education and training in neuropsychology in Lithuania were discussed. A key outcome from the workshop was that immediately after the end of Workshop a group of 13 psychologists and neurologists created the Group of Neuropsychology as a Division of the Lithuanian Psychological Association. In addition there are plans to establish further training in neuropsychology at Vilnius University.
Santiago, Chile, 5th-6th — December 2017
This workshop on Cross-Cultural Neuropsychological Test Development was organised by Dr Christian Salas (Universidad Diego Portales) and was held at Universidad Autonoma de Chile. It was attended by 120 participants. The international speakers were Prof Jonathan Evans (UK) and Dr Alberto Fernandez (Argentina). Dr Salas also organised the 1st Chilean Congress of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, held on December 6th at Universidad Diego Portales to which Prof Evans and Dr Fernandez also contributed.
Kolkata, India, 19th-25th — February 2017
This workshop on Neuropsychological Rehabilitation was organised by Dr Aparna Dutt, Dr Anirban Dutt and their colleagues from the Duttanagar Mental Health Centre. The workshop ran over a period of six days, with an additional pre-workshop study day on Single Case Experimental Design methodology. The international speakers at the workshop included Prof Barbara Wilson (UK), Prof Jonathan Evans (UK), Prof Robyn Tate (Australia), Dr Michael Perdices (Australia), Dr Mel Kaushansky (USA), Dr Anita Rose (UK), and Ms Donna Malley (UK).